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Record number of international exchange students at WU

With a total of 612 incoming students from 61 different countries, this winter semester sets a record for the number of international students starting an exchange semester or year at WU. WU’s advantageous location and excellent reputation attract students from around the world.

Internationality has been a driving force behind WU’s development since its founding. WU has been a pioneer among Austrian universities in its internationalization efforts, and established a committee for international contacts and an International Office in 1990. The International Office is responsible for organizing international mobility programs for incoming and outgoing students, and has reported a record number of 612 incoming exchange students for the 2018/19 winter semester. The USA, Italy, Spain, and China top the list of incoming students’ home countries. “Based on the total number of students, no other Austrian university has hosted as many incoming exchange students or sent as many students to partner universities abroad as WU. We are pround of this new record and see it as confirmation that our international approach and high quality standards are recognized worldwide,” says Rector Edeltraud Hanappi-Egger.

WU’s location and reputation as deciding factors

Students are surveyed about their motivation for choosing WU as their host university abroad every year. The top three reasons are the city of Vienna, followed closely by WU’s reputation, and the advantageous geographical location of Austria in the heart of Europe. This indicates that WU’s location in Vienna, which ranked number one in the 2018 Mercer Quality of Living Survey, is a definite plus for the university. Incoming students also name WU’s teaching portfolio as a further important reason for choosing WU: Deciding factors include the opportunity to learn German as a foreign language, a wide variety of classes taught in English, and an attractive selection of available courses in general. Students are also asked why they decided to go on exchange at all, and what they see as the main benefits. The opportunity to travel remains a crucial factor in most students’ decision, followed by interest in experiencing a new academic environment in second place, and improving foreign language skills coming in third.

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